Whether you have been grinding Rare’s Sea of Thieves from day one like me or LucasArts’ Monkey Island conundrum since day one, this crossover was a match made in heaven. CGMagazine was able to try out the Sea of Thieves: The Legend of Monkey Island Early Access build to delve deeper into a near-finished build of the new content to the Microsoft exclusive game.
The protagonist and aspiring pirate of the Monkey Island games, Guybrush Threepwood, makes his return in this special collaboration. Now he is known as Governor Guybrush Threepwood, as he is known as the Legend of Monkey Island. As part of the in-game mechanic, players will be trying to seek an audience with Guybrush by obtaining a “Meet ‘n’ Greet Ticket” to begin their adventure. However, do not count out his infamous undead pirate nemesis LeChuck being involved!
The preview of this build covered the first Tall Tale of three total parts titled “The Journey to Mêlée Island.” Players will immediately spawn in front and learn of a new character in Sea of Thieves named Kate Capsize—who is a new NPC at the Outpost areas. She is searching for Guybrush to get her revenge, and from there, players will have to go through the classic Sea of the Damned to sail to Mêlée Island (the iconic starting location in The Secret of Monkey Island).
As seen in the Pirates of the Caribbean Tall Tales, expect to get a great view of the new location by finding a good spot on your ship. When players find themselves emerging to see the spectacularly recreated spot from the Monkey Island games, they will see the stunning views and countless references to the original games. On this island, players should keep a lookout for the hidden Pieces o’ Eight to complete objectives—Gold does not matter on Mêlée Island!
This first Tall Tale will go live on Sea of Thieves on July 20, and the other two parts will be released periodically. It is sort of like a three-episode arc. As per other collaborations, The Legend of Monkey Island will not have PvP dangers, so other crews cannot interrupt your experience. Also, these Tales will come out as free updates when the release dates hit—same as with the Pirates of the Caribbean crossover.
“From the Scumm Bar to the Lookout Point, the team at Rare has outdone themselves with Sea of Thieves: The Legend of Monkey Island.”
Speaking on the topic of the three-Tale structure, we asked the Creative Director of Sea of Thieves, Mike Chapman, in an exclusive interview about why they chose to do three parts for this crossover: “It just felt like first Tale establishes the story, second Tale escalates and third Tale is a stunning finale. That three-beat structure just worked really well. That was the main reason.” I can attest that the first part definitely felt like a major setup to the overall plot, but it did not feel stale. The puzzles really kept me on my toes and hounding for clues from conversations.
Chapman assured that players would have a great time working through each part, which he mentioned should take about eight hours to complete all three Tales. He also commented on how they even had a whole process of casting voice actors and meeting with some of the voice actors who originally played them for years. Fans can expect Dominic Armato’s return as voicing Guybrush in the more recent Monkey Island games, along with Alexandra Boyd’s return to voicing the love interest Elaine Marley.
While the nostalgic minutiae really was trying to hit me in my face, I felt nothing. Not because I hated it but the fact that it was a great visual and narrative journey, even without that special connection to the Monkey Island games. Still, from the moment I saw Mêlée Island revealed through the Seas of the Damned, I was hooked on the epic-ness. The musical notes splendidly added to the gravity of seeing a place based on a 2-D version of a point-and-click game of the past.
Even though I was new to the Monkey Island elements, I was still impressed by how well the narrative and mechanics translated from the typical Sea of Thieves gameplay I was accustomed to. Being thrown into a new world within a game world was like seeing the game I knew in a whole new light again—not feeling completely foreign, though.
From the Scumm Bar to the Lookout Point, the team at Rare has outdone themselves with Sea of Thieves: The Legend of Monkey Island. Apparently, they do not have a solid number of how many references, cameos and recreations are in all three Tall Tales—meaning there is a lot! While I may not have understood every single one, the respect and homage to a popular franchise was paid. With last year’s release of Return to Monkey Island, it only solidified how many genuine fans there are out there.
Chapman said it best on what players can expect with these crossover Tall Tales, “If you are a fan of Monkey Island, I think you will hopefully be blown away by the level of detail, care and craft we put into this. But if you like Sea of Thieves, and maybe you’re new to Monkey Island, this is a great way for you to hopefully appreciate what is wonderful about this world…But I hope that you fall in love with the characters and the tone of this world. And hopefully, this is the first window into that world, and you’ll go play the other games because they are awesome!”
Sea of Thieves: The Legend of Monkey Island will be available for owners of the base game on Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows PC, Steam and Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta)—beginning on July 20.